Weekender

Schlow Centre Region Library offers summer reading programs for the whole family

Kids read to sheltered cats

The SPCA of Wake County in Raleigh, N.C. has a program called Cat Tales where children volunteer to read to sheltered cats. It’s as cute as you’re imagining.
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The SPCA of Wake County in Raleigh, N.C. has a program called Cat Tales where children volunteer to read to sheltered cats. It’s as cute as you’re imagining.

With the calendar now turning to May, we can sense that summer is just around the corner. School will be out in another month, vacations are being planned, and Schlow Centre Region Library is ready for another year of its summer reading program.

Registration opens May 20 for this year’s summer reading, which has the theme “A Universe of Stories.” A kickoff — or in this case, given the theme, a blastoff — event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 1 at Schlow. Participants can register online at reading.schlowlibrary.org and start logging in their reading on June 1.

Schlow’s summer reading programs are open for everyone — from babies to adults. Last year, more than 2,400 people participated in one of Schlow’s summer reading programs. The children’s program is for babies through age 12, the teen program is for kids ages 12 to 17, and the adult program is for ages 18 and older.

“The summer reading program is a fun way to keep kids reading and learning all summer long,” says Paula Bannon, Schlow’s head of children’s services. “The more a child reads and learns this summer, the less the ‘summer slide’ — the loss of skills learned during the school year — will affect them.”

While summer reading programs across the country are mostly associated with kids and helping them avoid the summer slide, adults also enjoy the programs.

“Not only does reading help stem the dreaded summer slide in children and teens, but we adults can benefit too when we read more by way of increased brain activity and reduced stress levels,” says Maria Burchill, head of adult services at Schlow. “We’re thrilled to offer a summer full of reading goals, programs and prizes to our teens and adults.”

Prizes for this year’s children’s program include large stuffed animals, a solar system tepee, Penn State T-shirts, State College Spikes tickets, Discovery Space passes and a free month of dance classes at the Dance Academy of State College. Teen grand prizes include a Nintendo Switch with Zelda Breath of the Wild game and Bluetooth headphones, while adults can win a Kindle Fire tablet or an iPad mini. Many local businesses such as The Makery, Webster’s Bookstore & Cafe, the Animal Kingdom and more have donated fabulous prizes this year. Participants can earn prizes by setting and reaching their goals, completing quests, and attending events and participating in activities.

The first big event and activity will be the Summer Reading Blast Off on June 1. The day includes performances by Allegheny Winds, Nittany Knights Barbershop Chorus, a magic show by Ran’D Shine, the Usborne Book Sale and visits from Batman Minion, Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. And the fun will continue throughout the summer.

“We have some fun programs lined up for the older-set this summer, including a celebration of World UFO Day, a meditation program, and BookFestPA returns in July,” Burchill says. For children, Bannon adds, “We have a great set of summer programs planned — everything from baton-twirling and dance classes to science experiments and critter visits. Join us at the library this summer and see what makes the Schlow summer reading program so special!”

For more information, visit schlowlibrary.org and follow Schlow Library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

David Pencek is communications manager for Schlow Centre Region Library. He can be reached at dpencek@schlowlibrary.org.
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